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Jim Otto, American Professional Football Player, Died At 86



Jim Otto died at age 86.

Jim Otto, a legendary football player known as “Mr. Raider” for his remarkable toughness and endurance despite facing many injuries. He passed away at the age of 86, as confirmed by the team on Sunday night.

Jim Otto, affectionately known as “The Original Raider,” passed away at the age of 86. The cause of his death is not yet clear.

Another American celebrity died recently still his death reason could not find.

The Oakland Raiders, his longtime team, paid tribute to him on the social platform X. As calling him “The personification of consistency.” Jim’s impact on American Football League and professional football overall was immense. His leadership and determination were vital to the success of the dominant Raider teams during the 1960s and 70s.


Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby shared a heartfelt message on X, calling Jim Otto an “absolute legend & incredible person.”

Professional Career:

Jim Otto was a distinguished American professional football player. Who played as a center for an impressive 15 seasons with the Oakland Raiders in both the American Football League (AFL) and the National Football League (NFL).

Jim Otto.
Jim Otto.

Before his professional career, he showcased his talent in college football, representing the Miami Hurricanes.

In recognition of his outstanding contributions to the sport. Jim Otto honored with induction into the prestigious Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1980. An achievement he earned in his very first year of eligibility.

Additionally, he selected for the AFL All-Time Team and the NFL 100th Anniversary All-Time Team. Whcih solidifying his legacy as one of the greatest players in football history.


When Jim Otto began his football career, no National Football League team interested in him. Because he was smaller than most other players in his position.

However, he drafted by a team from Minneapolis that was planning to join the new American Football League (AFL). But when that team decided to join the NFL instead, Jim’s rights transferred to the AFL’s Oakland Raiders.

He signed with the Raiders and played for the entire ten years of the AFL’s existence, and even continued for five more years after that. In his first year in the AFL, he wore jersey number 50. But then switched to his famous 00 the next season. Jim worked hard to bulk up to his playing weight of 255 pounds.

Originally, the idea for him to wear the number 00 came from the team’s equipment manager, Frank Hinek. They wanted a number that would stand out, and since the number 0 already worn in the NFL, they settled on 00.


This idea supported by the AFL Commissioner, Joe Foss, and Jim Otto went on to wear that iconic number throughout his career.

For the next 15 years, Jim Otto was a constant presence at center for the Raiders, never missing a single game due to injury. He played in an impressive 210 consecutive games.

During his career, he experienced both triumph and disappointment. He won one AFL/AFC championship in 1967 against the Houston Oilers with the Raiders.

However, he also faced defeat in five other championship games, in 1968, 1969, 1970, 1973, and 1974. Which losing to the New York Jets, Kansas City Chiefs, Baltimore Colts, Miami Dolphins, and Pittsburgh Steelers, respectively. Each of these teams went on to win the Super Bowl.


Jim played alongside another Hall of Famer, Gene Upshaw, at left guard from 1967 to 1974. In the 1967 regular season, the Raiders were a dominant force, scoring 468 points. As the highest in the AFL that year.

Despite this, they lost in Super Bowl II to the Green Bay Packers. In 1968, they continued their strong performance, scoring 453 points in the regular season. And beating the Chiefs in the divisional round before losing to the Jets.

In the 1969 regular season, the Raiders continued their scoring dominance, putting up 377 points (an average of 26.9 points per game). Which leading the AFL for the third consecutive year. They also won against the Houston Oilers in the new divisional round of the AFL playoffs but then lost to the Chiefs.

In 1970, which marked the first year of the NFL-AFL merger, the Raiders faced a new challenge. They scored 300 points (an average of 21.4 points per game), ranking ninth in the 26-team NFL. Despite this, they managed to secure a win against the Miami Dolphins in the AFC playoffs. Before ultimately losing to the Colts.


However, in 1971, the Raiders experienced their first playoff miss in five years, despite scoring 344 points (an average of 24.6 points per game). Which was the second-highest in the NFL at the time.

In 1972, the Raiders made a strong comeback, scoring 365 points (averaging 26.1 points per game). Which ranked them third in the NFL. However, their playoff journey ended in disappointment with a 13–7 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the divisional round of the AFC playoffs. This game famously remembered for the Immaculate Reception. And it’s worth noting that Jim Otto caught his only pass in his professional career during this match.

Moving on to the 1973 regular season, the Raiders scored 292 points (averaging 20.9 points per game), placing them tenth in the NFL. They managed to avenge their previous playoff defeat to the Steelers but ultimately stopped by the Miami Dolphins.

In Jim Otto’s final year in 1974, the Raiders continued to excel offensively. Which scoring 355 points (averaging 25.4 points per game), leading the NFL in scoring. They avenged their playoff loss to the Dolphins but faced defeat once again against the Steelers.

Jim Otto and her wife.
Jim Otto and her wife.

Following the end of the 1974 season, Jim Otto retired from professional football. His departure marked the end of an era. As he was the last remaining member of the original Oakland Raiders team from 1960 to retire. He succeeded by Dave Dalby, who had with the team for four seasons after graduating from UCLA.

Jim Otto achieved remarkable feats throughout his football career. He was one of only twenty players to play in every single game during the entire ten-year existence of the American Football League (AFL). In fact, he’s one of just three players to accomplish this for his team alone.

His excellence consistently recognized, as he selected. As The Sporting News All-League center for an impressive ten consecutive years, from 1960 through 1969.

Additionally, Jim chosen as an All-Star in 13 out of his 15 seasons. Which participating every year in the AFL from 1960 to 1969 and three times during his NFL career. He also honored as the starting center on the AFL All-Time Team. By solidifying his status as one of the greatest players in AFL history.

Jim Otto’s contributions to the sport were further acknowledged when he was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1980, in his very first year of eligibility. He continued to receive accolades post retirement, being ranked number 78 on The Sporting News’ list of the 100 Greatest Football Players in 1999.


In 2019, he was once again celebrated as he was selected to the National Football League 100th Anniversary All-Time Team, showcasing his enduring impact on the game.

Jim Otto’s Tough Journey:

Jim Otto endured numerous challenges with injuries throughout his NFL career. He underwent a staggering total of nearly 74 operations, including 28 on his knee, nine of which were while he was still playing. These surgeries took a toll on his body, leading to severe arthritis in his joints and debilitating back and neck problems.

In his book titled “The Pain of Glory,” Otto recounted his harrowing experiences with medical procedures, including battling three life-threatening infections caused by complications from his artificial joints.

At one point, he had to spend six months without a right knee joint while waiting for an infection to heal before another artificial knee could be implanted. Unfortunately, his health struggles eventually led to the amputation of his right leg on August 1, 2007.


Despite facing such immense challenges, Otto expressed no regrets about his football career. He stated that he wouldn’t change anything even if given the chance to do it all over again. In a 2013 interview for “League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis,” he candidly discussed his sports injuries, as well as the issue of concussions in football.

Jim Otto is survived by his wife Sally, his son Jim Jr., and daughter-in-law Leah. He is also survived by his 14 grandchildren: Alice, Sarah, Amy, Amanda, Josiah, Hannah, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Jennifer, Avery, Noah, Aiden, Roman, and Ellie.

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